This article explores the relevance of historical trauma theory for Māori research. In exploring the impact of historical trauma upon Māori it has become clear that the terminology associated with historical trauma theory is considered controversial in Aotearoa New Zealand. As such, this article provides an overview of key definitions relevant to historical trauma and explores these in relation to recent reporting related to the use of the terms “holocaust” and “genocide” in the context of colonization in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The above pepeha makes refererence to the journey of Hau, a tupuna known on the West Coast of the North Island for his travels and descent lines. Recalling Hau’s journeys is one of the ways that whanaungatanga and connection is affirmed for iwi along the West Coast, down to Te Upoko o Te Ika and also over to the Wairarapa. In current Crown Treaty settlement processes, relationships with neighbours can provoke tensions as iwi or hapūare forced to define clear, agreed boundaries.